United Way annual campaign raises $38.2M

United Way of Central Indiana’s 2010 annual campaign fell short of its ambitious $41 million goal, but donations nearly matched the 2009 total.

The Indianapolis-based not-for-profit on Tuesday projected it will end the campaign with $38.2 million, down just 1.5 percent from the previous year.

Local United Way leaders started out last fall knowing they would need to replace $1.6 million in known “losses” from one-time donations and company closures, but nearly 200 new corporate campaigns and bigger gifts from existing campaigns helped narrow the gap.

A partnership with the Indianapolis Colts to offer incentives to donors also “added fun and interest to the campaign,” volunteer campaign chairman Don Knebel, a partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, said in a prepared statement.

That effort attracted more than 8,000 gifts of at least $100, officials said.

The agency gets more than 98 percent of its 75,809 donors from on-the-job fundraising campaigns. As IBJ reported in September, it lost more than 6,000 donors from 2008 to 2009—likely as a result of layoffs during the economic downturn.

Even so, the organization raised $38.8 million both years.

Nationally, 33 percent of charities surveyed for the 2010 Nonprofit Research Collaborative reported raising less money in 2010 than in 2009, according to a study released Tuesday. Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy is among the collaboration partners.

United Way of Central Indiana supports more than 100 human-service agencies in Indianapolis and five other counties.

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